Offering software choices for socioeconomically disadvantaged students. It was highlighted in the first lockdown in early 2020 how many students did not have access to Apple Mac only software, but did have access to PC based music production software such as FLStudio.
Each year, level 3 music tech students have a DAW external assessment (Digital Audio Workstation) This is taken in the second year and only gives the students one chance to achieve, unless they return the following year. As this external assessment uses Macs and Apple’s own software Logic X Pro it favors students who are fortunate enough to have access to Macs as they have a chance to further their learning outside of college. Although we do accommodate college facilities to all students as often as possible, if more students could practice their craft outside of timetabled hours at home this would clearly reflect in the students’ achievement results.
We have recently put in an order for 10 copies of a DAW software called FLStudio which allows students to use the software on a normal PC or iPAD, even their smartphones. Although we wouldn’t be giving the students software it does mean they are in a position of choice for a much cheaper option, which is why FLStudio is becoming an industry standard, alongside Ableton and Logic.
More importantly, FLStudio works on PCs which are a lot more affordable than a Mac. I have vast DAW knowledge in the other two industry standard DAWs (Ableton and Logic) but it would benefit the students if I updated my FLStudio techniques for FLStudio software. This could be cascaded to other staff members and therefore accommodate the choice of software available for lower income families accessing a DAW at home